GDC '08: Far Cry 2 to be modern <em>Heart of Darkness</em>

Ubisoft's Patrick Redding tells attendees that the forthcoming Africa-set wilderness survival game will force players "to become a monster."

by

SAN FRANCISCO--In the next Far Cry, gamers will hunt down an evil arms dealer, and then discover the evil within themselves. Patrick Redding, game designer at Ubisoft Montreal, let the audience at his "Do, Don't Show" talk at the Game Developers Conference have a little sneak peek of the upcoming game.

Redding said that the company first established four core "pillars" that would act as the guiding principles for Far Cry 2's game design. The first was freedom to explore all spaces, the second realism, the third immersion with consequences, and the final meaning backed up by mechanics.

The original Far Cry game was heavily influenced by The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G .Wells, which Redding believes "is really about people's anxieties with science." In a similar way, Far Cry 2 draws its inspiration from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and the movie version Apocalypse Now.

He said, "Any human being no matter how civilised, if you take them to the edge of the abyss, they will find themselves staring back. We're all savages. We're all about two weeks away from rioting."

Another strong influence on the game was the story of Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. Redding explained, "It's the idea of the solitary gunslinger who strides into a town that is completely corrupt and bereft of mercy. And he's disgusted with it. So he decides to dole out hard justice. Inevitably it ends with the two factions in town killing each other off and the hero striding off into the sunset."

The lead character in the game journeys to Africa, where his mission is to assassinate a notorious arms dealer called The Jackal. Redding says that he loved the idea of setting the game in Africa because he wanted to give players a broad range of African settings, including savannahs, deserts, rainforests, and rivers. These different settings don't all naturally occur close to each other, so it was decided to make a fictional setting. The total gameplay space will be around 50 square kilometers or 31 square miles.

One gameplay mechanic that has been introduced is malaria. As soon as the character arrives in Africa to begin his mission, he contracts malaria. Malaria medicine can only be obtained from civilians, which creates a dependency between the player and the non-combatants in the game.

There will also be "ceasefire" zones in which the player can interact with friendly and hostile NPCs. The main character will also grow his "infamy" according to the things he does, which in turn will affect the way the nonplayer characters deal with him. He commented, "Rather than telling the player there was a human cost to what was going on around them, we wanted them to experience it...and as the player is building his infamy, for example, he's more likely to be horrible in battle."

Redding concluded, "He [the main character] has to become a monster, because in the end, he can't do anything else."

Discussion

99 comments
aussiehalofan
aussiehalofan

This game just keeps sounding better by the day.

megamaster32
megamaster32

Awsome I liked the first one I might buy this

Grimripper_nec
Grimripper_nec

heroface i understand that the feral abilities make it not the same but i dont believe its wise to go an say its less of a game.This may not be the far cry we have played before but it certainly will deliver the goods so dont critize it before you actually know wats up cause i am sure you will love this game just as much as i will.I played the first an was also disappointed with the loss of feral.But i believe Farcry 2 is worth the loss honestly.

LDDR
LDDR

gonna be a great game

Lemonsquare
Lemonsquare

In my opinion. Looks like it's going to be the best first-person-shooter ever. I hope it is as good as it looks! I will definitely buy Far Cry 2.

heroface
heroface

there should be feral abilities for consoles... it's the way we've always had it... it's just LESS OF A GAME without it

gamzrsweet
gamzrsweet

cant wait hope it will be as good as it looks

CageFury
CageFury

Darkreaper_1: It's coming out for consoles so they can't pull a "crysis". The PC version will probably look a little better, but if you have at least a 7900 it will look at least as good as the consoles, even if it's not maxed out.

russian_takeout
russian_takeout

well, first far cry was a little over rated. i still played thru it and liked it. it brought lots of new ideas and the game set a standart to other games. this one looks really good... specially african setting. hope it will be better than crysis, couse i didnt like the game play that much (graphics where amazing)

Syliss
Syliss

this is going to be good...the combat will decide if it is going to be great

cole_150
cole_150

I can wait for this to come out

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

Hmmmm, i'm not entirely sure about this game. The first far cry was a great game but not as good as a lot of people are making it out to be. My biggest worry is that they'll do a "Crysis" on the graphics and make it for really high-end PCs. Just wondering how the story in the first farcry will tie to this one, that is if the games are only linked by name alone.

bulletwaster
bulletwaster

I was wondering the same thing I never played the original far cry but I dont think it had you obtain feral abilities but i know farcry instincts did. i think far cry and instincts are the same story

gamer1245nerd
gamer1245nerd

is there going to be monsters and feral abilities

shooterman_420
shooterman_420

i thin this game is gonna be BURL the first few games were pretty sick but this one is gonna be on of the best sellers

the_greenzero
the_greenzero

It's going to be great, I like Far Cry because the game seems to have concepts no one dares to try. I mean the first one had an tropical island, now we're in Africa and it's more realistic now so I'm definitely getting this.

jed1516
jed1516

haha no the game will be good its got a freakon map editor its got to much to suck sorry

sirus1210
sirus1210

.. yawn ... this game will probably suck but will end up with high ratings because it'll have more glare and bloom effects than lines of dialogue.

harshahorizon
harshahorizon

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Q4 2008!!!! What gives?!! well at least ill be able to afford it as March/April are gonna be expensive months anyway with R6 Vegas 2, GTA4, Dark Sector. Just hope its worth the wait, i reckon it will arrive around the same time as GOW2

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Wildlife, well... that certainly gives the game a new tist lol. Joking asside, i cant wait for this!

jed1516
jed1516

if this game doesnt become game of the year im going to be very angry its so cool

mikeisaniceguy
mikeisaniceguy

I'm so excited for this game. All I need to do know is get a better graphics card.

jed1516
jed1516

dang they keep screwing with the release date its gay

Erik729
Erik729

Oh man, if they have wildlife in this game, it could add a whole other element to the game...

termadoyle
termadoyle

I thought the guy means "heart of darkness the game" and I was like WTF. lolz.

Nop88
Nop88

i hope they have a mode like in the last game that abled you build a map!!!

pidow
pidow

Monsters, I love monsters!.

annegab
annegab

Haha Heart of Darkness...great

polsci1503
polsci1503

Heart of Darkness... great book. The concept definitely makes me more interested in the game.

CradleXX
CradleXX

I really hope the don't take out the Predator multiplayer mode. I don't mind that it's not in single but I played Predator mode for so many hours on the original xbox.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I really hope the Malaria aspect does'nt detract you from the fun (e.g. if it moves, rip its head off!!).

scaterwolf
scaterwolf

Hmmm looks interesting ,,, have to try this game and i hope its realistic XD

Bradman984
Bradman984

Maleria eh!, well thats gunna set the tone 4 the entire game, DON'T SHOOT ME, I HAVE MALERIA!

liam72
liam72

I hope AI is gonna be good cause for me, it's the most important part of realism in a game.

sampleking
sampleking

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Demmi_Argo
Demmi_Argo

"Force players to become a monster"? Jack Thompson, I think thats your cue.

-White_Knight-
-White_Knight-

Is it too much to ask for guest sign-ins for xbox live? I love Far Cry, but I usually end up playing Halo 3 because I have a brother and sister...

67gt500
67gt500

Cool... Good to see Jozef Conrad's work is still relevant, in 2008. My family bias aside, he's arguably one of the best writers in the English language. Heart of Darkness is one of my favorite novels of all time. Apocalypse Now is one of my favorite movies ever, and Far Cry is one of my favorite games of all time. Should be one amazing game.

ghost867
ghost867

If they can't get this on all three consoles on day one, they're gonna be making a huge mistake. Ie: Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament III, Crysis.

IKKF
IKKF

When you see games like stuff from 2007 and beyond, you can really tell the industry is getting better and better. Far Cry 2 looks sweet!

TraAus
TraAus

Redding concluded, "He [the main character] has to become a monster, because in the end, he can't do anything else." I hope that you have the ability to do good he almost makes it sound like you can only be bad. That kinda dismisses one of those guiding pilliars doesn't it? Freedom. It should still be a good game regardless.

Ardiendo_1
Ardiendo_1

This game will probably only manage to draw superficial parallels with the Heart of Darkness as it is one of the most complex pieces of literature ever written. It is about much, much more than discovering the evil within yourself.

ZedFragg
ZedFragg

I was looking forward to it but as it's been delayed I'm going to lose interest until it gets closer to the date. And they are going to have to do something special with it, especially after Crysis...Good game...Not fantastic...Wonderful graphically but when Crytek locked the DX10 features on XP even though DX9 CAN give you the graphical wonder DX10 (if you edit 1 simple config file) For that reason i lost faith in Crytek.... Plus Crysis felt...like every other shooter to be honest....just better graphically... I hope Farcry 2 will steer clear of Sci-Fi as well because to be honest...It's gettin' old :P

Artosa
Artosa

This game will only be realistic graphics wise

Sacred-Snow
Sacred-Snow

the original far cry was one of my faves, that and crysis put crytek in my favorite dev list, can't wait for the new one!